It used to drive me crazy in the US when I was caught doing things ‘last minute’. Poor planning or procrastination by me or others would mean scrambling the last few days to complete a project.
But that was nothing!
Here, last minute is honed to an artform beyond anything I could ever imagine.
When I arrived at the end of May to begin teaching June 3rd, I was given my class assignments on Tuesday June 1 to begin teaching on Thursday. I was informed that I was ‘lucky’ that I had that long to plan and that I only had two different types of courses to plan for (Level 2 and Level 3). My schedule was teaching five level 2 course and one level 3 course, for one hour each day M-F. Plus, I was given a one-to-one student. I was told that I was given more notice than usual, because I was a newbie.
So, on June 30th (the day before July 1) at 4:15 pm, I received my ‘tentative schedule’ for July. It was then that I learned that I would be teaching three classes of a discussion group, one Level 2, one Level 3 and continuing with my one-to-one student.
The first day is always introductions, games and overview so prep isn’t required, but still, wow! As a new teacher, and never having seen the material before, it’s a lot to handle without totally freaking out.
There’s no way for me to prepare in a way that I would like to. I have to remind myself that the most important thing for me is to be there in a way that I can be present with the people that are my students, in a calm, open, caring way.
Thus, again, I turn to meditation. It helps me change my perspective from denial, frustration and panic to acceptance, gratitude and serenity. A practice I feel better when I do once or twice a day!